‘Congress leaders siphoned off farmers’ relief packages’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Congress leaders siphoned off farmers’ relief packages’

india Updated: Dec 04, 2010 02:15 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra

In a scathing attack on the government, the opposition in the legislative council said it had little faith in the ruling coalition with regards to the farmers’ relief package. Opposition parties alleged that in the past, Congress ministers had siphoned off relief packages meant for distressed farmers.

During a debate on the issue of relief packages for farmers affected by the recent untimely rainfall in the state, senior Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said the government must ensure that the proposed packages reach the needy farmers. Kadam alleged that the government is notorious for disbursing such packages among its ministers, MLAs, MPs, zilla parishad members and party workers.

According to Kadam, family members of former Lok Sabha member and senior Congress-man Uttamrao Patil got five cows, cabinet minister Shivaji-rao Moghe’s family got eight cows and Yamatmal MLA Wamanrao Kasawar’s family got eight cows under the PM’s relief package that was meant for distressed farmers.

Terming it as a major scam, Kadam said, “The scheme was solely for below poverty line (BPL) farmers while politicians from the ruling party siphoned off money by projecting themselves as poor farmers.”

“Such a thing could get repeated again if necessary steps are not initiated by the authorities,” added Kadam.

Earlier, initiating the debate, leader of the opposition, Pandu-rang Fundkar, insisted that the state provide at least Rs 50,000 per hectare for horticulture while Rs 25,000 for other crops.

The government is likely to make an announcement on the issue in both houses on Saturday.